Johnson County Marijuana Attorney
Protect Yourself Against Marijuana Charges with a Johnson County Marijuana Attorney
Kansas is among the most restrictive states in the nation with regard to marijuana legalization, and continues to impose strict penalties on those who possess and distribute weed. Because courts in Kansas routinely send people to jail and prison for marijuana-related convictions, it’s important that you have a qualified Johnson County marijuana attorney if you are facing possession of marijuana or distribution of marijuana charges.
Jerry Merrill works diligently to defend the rights of persons accused of drug-related offenses and other serious criminal charges throughout Johnson County and surrounding areas. For a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact us today.
Marijuana Drug Crimes
Possession of Marijuana
Your first marijuana possession charge can carry a maximum penalty of 6 months of jail time and up to a $1,500 fine. These cases are often heard at the municipal court level, and charges are typically filed by city prosecutors. If you have two prior marijuana convictions, any additional possession offenses can be charged as level 5 drug felonies, and will be heard at the district court level. These can subject you to more stringent sentencing guidelines such as time in prison.
Distribution of Marijuana
Distribution of marijuana is a felony offense that can carry penalties up to 17 years of prison time depending on your criminal history. While possession of any amount is illegal, Kansas law creates a presumption that a person intends to distribute if they are found with over 15 ounces of marijuana. In addition, a person can be charged with possession with intent to distribute if they have less than 15 ounces, but other circumstantial evidence exists to support intent. This could include the presence of a scale or having the marijuana packaged separately in smaller amounts.
Fighting Marijuana Charges
All felony marijuana charges are faced in district court, where you can appear in front of one of six judges. The Johnson County District Attorney’s office has a specific unit for drug crimes.
It is critically important to have a defense attorney with extensive knowledge on search and seizure laws. If marijuana is found on your person or in very close proximity, flatly denying possession will likely fail. A more effective approach is to focus on whether the police had reasonable suspicion to stop you or probable cause to conduct a search.
Other potential defenses to marijuana charges in Kansas state court include:
- Failure to maintain an appropriate chain of custody or loss of the alleged marijuana prior to your trial
- Failure to read your Miranda rights prior to obtaining a confession that prosecutors intend to use against you in court
- The police or prosecutors committed other violations of your constitutional rights, such as by failing to disclose evidence or failing to failing to move forward with a speedy trial
- You were unaware that you were in possession of marijuana (i.e. someone left marijuana in your home or planted it in your pocket without your knowledge)
- The substance in your possession was not marijuana (or was not proven to be marijuana through laboratory testing)
Critically, one defense that remains unavailable in Kansas is the defense of possessing marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. While several other states have taken steps to decriminalize medical marijuana and the possession of small amounts of legally-sourced marijuana for recreational use, possessing any amount of marijuana for any purpose is still illegal in Kansas. As a result, even if you are facing a first-time “simple” possession charge (which is generally a class B nonperson misdemeanor), you still need the services of an experienced Johnson County marijuana attorney.
How a Johnson County Marijuana Attorney Can Help You
What exactly can a defense attorney do to help you, especially if you were caught “red-handed”? While many people assume that there is nothing an attorney can do to help them if they are guilty (and that there is no need to hire an attorney if they are innocent), nothing could be farther from the truth. There are defenses that an attorney can assert on your behalf even if you were arrested with marijuana on your person, and being innocent (or believing that you are innocent) does not necessarily mean that you have nothing to worry about at trial. Innocent people get convicted at alarming rates; and, regardless of the circumstances of your marijuana case, you need an experienced attorney on your side.
Contact an Experienced Johnson County Marijuana Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a marijuana drug offense, then it’s important that you speak with a Johnson County Marijuana attorney to understand what happens next. I’m Jerry Merrill, a Criminal Defense Attorney in Johnson County. I’m ready to use my experience with drug crimes and knowledge of search and seizure laws to help my clients get the best possible result.
In addition, I know how important it is to have someone who truly cares about the outcome of your case, and is willing to work hard for you. I provide my direct number to clients, respond to calls and texts the same day, and have evening and weekend hours if needed.
This is your life, and you need to be confident in your defense. Call 913-381-2085 or send an online inquiry for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Kansas, including Shawnee, Olathe and Overland Park.